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In sacco, in vitro and in vivo digestibility and supplementary value of some tropical forage legume hays to sheep feeding on a basal diet of maize stover
- Tolera, A., Said, A.N.
- Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 1997 v.77 no.1-5 pp. 35-43
- Desmodium intortum, Macrotyloma, Stylosanthes guianensis, corn, corn stover, correlation, diet, digestibility, feeds, fiber content, forage legumes, hay, legumes, microbial activity, rumen, sheep feeding
- SUMMARY: The potential of Desmodium intortum, Macrotyloma axillare and Stylosanthes guianensis hays for improving the digestibility of a basal diet of maize stover was assessed using in sacco, in vitro and in vivo methods. In sacco degradability results showed that S. guianensis hay had higher potential and effective DM degradability than the other two legume hays. Stylosanthes guianensis hay also had higher (p < 0.05) in vitro DM digestibility compared to maize stover, D. intortum and M. axillare. In vitro DM digestibility was negatively correlated (r = −0.97) with ADF content of the feeds. The in vivo data showed that there were no significant differences (p > 0.05) among the different species of legume hay supplements and levels of supplementation in DM and OM digestibility. The NDF, ADF and CP digestibility were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in S. guianensis hay supplemented groups than in groups which were supplemented with the other two forage legume hays. This was associated with lower levels of ADF and lignin and higher CP content in S. guianensis hay than in the other two forage legume species. Thus, S. guianensis was better than the other two forage legumes in improving the nutrient (CP, NDF, ADF and estimated in vitro DM) digestibility of maize stover-based diets which could be due to low fibre content and increased nitrogen availability and improved rumen microbial activity.